Baldinette … just clearing the view.

Sadly, this Balda Baldinette came to me in almost perfect condition … the only thing I had to do was clean out the viewfinder port and give it a shine.

DSC00552 1 First thing to do is to remove the rewind knob … just unscrew it.

Then remove the film counter while holding outter knurled ring.

The four screws hold the top plate on … remove them and then lift off top cover. You can go inside and clean out the viewfinder ports.

DSC00553 1Under the cover … as this is not a rangefinder camera there is not much here … you can clean counter dial and red dot.

Make sure the red dot mechanism is moving freely … after putting the top plate back on, make sure the red dot is still moving after advancing and tripping the shutter.

If you do want to get into the shutter, I noticed the focus distance ring would need to be marked to reposition it correctly when you put it back on.



Balda Baldinette

Even though the info says that Balda made “cheap” cameras, he didn’t make them cheaply made … though the shutter/lens was commonly on the low end of the scale.

The Baldinette was made in 1950. It was a viewfinder 35mm format folder … all metal body, and pocketable like the Retina. It was also made in a red leather version.

Typical of the cameras of those days, different shutter/lens combos were available. The one I have has a Pronto shutter that doesn’t have that many speeds, B and 1/30 to 1/300s so it really is a daylight camera … though it does have a hotshoe and a PC port … and the Schneider Radionar 50mm f/3.5 (triplet) lens.

… the camera is advanced enough to have a safetly lock on the winder … the counter will only advance if there is acutally film advancing within the camera and there is a manually push button that needs to be pressed after each exposure to unlock the shutter release button.

The one I got a hold of is in working condition, everything still feels as mechanically sound as when it was produced over 60 years ago.


Blast from the past …

Just before I started this Blog, while I was working on fixing my first cameras, I discovered a great forum dedicated to people who fixed their own photographic equipment.

board_logo The Classic Camera Repair Forum was created by Kar Yan & Henry on their site to share information about reviving old cameras.

I found this site while searching for repair manuals. They had some links and their own articles about repairing … but they also created a Forum.

This forum is where I first bumped into Rick Oleson, and many others who contributed information that has helped me over the years.

Sadly the site shut down in 2013. You can view it via WayBack Machine:

The archives are also available on the RangeFinder Forum: RFF – Gearheads Delight … you can dig there for lost information … and you will find that the discussions still go on thanks to RFF.

Balda – a brief history

Max Baldeweg founded Balda-Werk in 1908. His first factory was in Dresden Germany. He was making inexpensive 35mm and medium format folding cameras for the mass market, and he also  made for others to rebrand.

The first was the 1935 Baldina … kinda looked like the Welina and Retina … and he continued on that trend, hey whatever works (sells).

In 1946, Max fled to West Germany. The factory in Dresden, East Germany, was nationalized and in 1951 changed the name to Belca-Werk. He started again with Balda Kamera-Werk located in Bünde … and continued on where he left off.

You will find many of these Baldxxxx cameras, including some 126 and 110 cameras … that somehow avoided being named Bald (and some of the early box cameras).

Linus … no piano, and old is GNU.

Ok, drifiting away from photography again …

This time it is about Linux.

Linux is an operating system that was influenced by Minix, which was based on Unix … ok, so now I have to explain about Unix … this was an influencial computer operating system based on Multics. So now I have to explain Multics … nah, go and google it yourself.

Just to give you Youts some reference with the old days of computers … here is a picture of the two guys who coded Unix (Ritchie and Thompson) … yeah that thing along the wall is the computer … and yeah they all looked like the Woz. Note that this was only 40 years ago.


1048px-Heckert_GNU_white.svgLinux was created as a completely free and open source operating system with GNU applications … it was free for anyone’s use, unlike Minix.

Ah, GNU’s not Unix. Richard Stallman created the GNU project to bring a wholly free operating system to the public.

… back to Linux … it was released in 1991 and was created by Linus Tovalds.


Ok, that is not a great picture of him (2012), but it is an iconic image as it kinda represents a bit about his personality … he may not have been this way when he was younger.

Linux became a big hit with all the nerdy computer geeks of the time … cause it was free to use.


He was also the one who thought the official mascot would be Tux the Penguin. … back to the story … I have been thinking about dual booting my laptop with Windows and Linux for while. I finally upgraded the SSD to a larger size, so now I can fit both OS’s. Now this ain’t the first time I’ve had multiple OS’s … I once triple booted OS-X, Windows, and Linux, so it should be easy this time.

Linux has always attracted me, probably because I starting computing with the green/amber screen terminal on a PET … umm, just recall The Matrix green text … so working with a console is kinda consoling (hey, I made a pun).

425px-Larry-the-cow-full.svgI previously been working with Gentoo (it is a Linux distribution and also a species of Penguin … though their mascot is Larry the Cow), but I thought this time I would go easy on myself and work with Arch. Like Gentoo, it is a minimalist style … but not so far as compiling everything from source.

Now Linux has come a long way in terms of compatibility with hardware, so it is so much easier to get a working Linux system … but there are still somethings that don’t work right out of the box … so here are my tips.

My installation is on a Dell XPS 13 9343 with a QHD+ high res touchscreen … which is an awesome laptop … that is currently running Microsoft Windows 10.

I suggest getting another SSD drive, with a USB enclosure and clone your existing Windows installation … just in case you really @$&% up and wanna go back to an easier life … and later on you can use it as a very portable backup drive.

240px-Archlinux-icon-crystal-64.svgPrep … look over the Arch Linux Wiki docs about installaton and also the detailed page for this model of laptop (though a lot of that could be tweaked after the install).


Step 1.

Get a USB to RJ45 ethernet adapter, cause the Broadcom wifi adapter will cause you issues (no network connection) … they aren’t expensive … and it is handy to have for other future purposes. Another suggestion is to buy an Intel AC-7260 wifi card and replace the crappy Broadcom … it is much more better in reception, and natively supported by Linux.

Step 2.

Free some space. The Windows disk management utility should be able to resize your partition. I just left about 100GB for my Linux install, even though I would not be using that much I though I may in the future install much more stuff if I liked it.

Step 3.

Install Rufus to create a bootable USB stick, and then download the Arch ISO file.

I had to set Rufus to use an MBR partition scheme in order to get my laptop to boot from it.

Step 4.

Boot the USB drive with the help of the F12 key at boot.

When you get the Linux bootloader screen you will really want to edit the Grub bootloader kernel entry and add the parameter: video=1280×1024 … otherwise you will get text soooooo small you will need to get out a magnifying glass.

Step 5.

On another computer or tablet, get to the Arch Linux installation documentation, and really follow it.

Modifications I made after finishing the install but before the final reboot …

Time Zone

Windows does not play nice with UTC, so I forced Arch to follow the Windows way … otherwise every time you reboot into Windows the time will be wrong.

  • # timedatectl set-local-rtc 1

Boot Loader

As I noted about the screen resolution, I edited the /etc/default/grub and edited it.

  • GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT … I added video=1600×90
  • GRUB_GFXMODE=1280×1024

So you should be pretty safe after rebooting.

Have fun.

Windows update note.

If you happen to have deleted the little OEM Partion that sits behind the Windows C: partition (like I did) then be ready to rescue Grub with tiny text. When a major Windows update installs (like the October one) it will recreate that partion, and the next time you reboot you wil get a Grub rescue prompt. You will have to reconfigure the bootloader to use the new partitions.

This page has instructions to recover: Grub Rescue after Windows Update

One note was I searched for / instead of /grub2 to find the partion that my /boot/grub directory resided in (I did not create a separate boot partition).